The Yakuza series has been pumping its titles with minigames since its inception. As you can probably tell from the title of this guide, Like A Dragon: Ishin is no exception. You will be able to sing your heart out, serve udon, play a game of Mahjong, and cut a cannonball in two. And we’re just scratching the surface with that list!This guide exists to give you a quick reference guide for every last minigame in Ishin. We’ll tell you where to find these games, how to play them, and give you a couple of tips for how to succeed in them.
Updated October 18, 2023: We’ve updated this guide, making sure it is in the best shape possible for all the new players coming from Game Pass. Everything has been polished, and we made sure all the information is up to date!
You can chop wood in Tosa, of course. But this minigame is also available once you arrive in Kyo. The woodcutter, who will give you access to this minigame, can be found in the South Yashikimachi area of Fushimi, which is the southwest corner of the map. The game itself couldn’t be simpler. Once the axe flashes blue, press the chop button.
As you make successive cuts, the speed will increase. Once you are past ten cuts, you won’t even have to look at the axe anymore, press the button the second you hear the indicator sound. Extended cutting strings do not reward. Every chopped log is another 100 man. Chop until you don’t want to anymore.
The Karaoke bar is in the Utamaruya section of Fushimi, which is on the north end. The establishment is just south of the gate to Rakugai. Karaoke in Like A Dragon Ishin is largely unchanged from how it has appeared in previous Yakuza titles. The core mechanics are that you need to press the buttons in accordance with the prompts on the screen. As is pretty typical with rhythm games, the more precise your timing, the better. It is a relatively simple, yet engaging, rhythm game. It wouldn’t be a Yakuza game without it.
Once you arrive in Fushimi, you can access this fishing minigame. Just head south of the Inn you are staying at. You can talk to the fisherman standing by the boat to go fishing in the sea, or you can head to the southeast corner of Fushimi and do some river fishing.
Later, you will be able to access another river on the Mukurogai docks. Fishing is pretty straightforward. Place your lure in the path of a fish’s silhouette. Make sure that your lure is still by the time the fish intersects with it. This will draw its attention. Once the fish is nibbling, wait for your controller to rumble, then press the action button to pull it in. For a detailed breakdown on fishing in Like A Dragon: Ishin, follow this link.
This udon cooking minigame can be encountered by talking to the Umai udon chef in Fushimi. Once you have built your bond up a little (by purchasing udon from him), he will ask you to help out in the kitchen. This is mainly a memory-based game. You will be presented with a number of orders, and each one will be associated with a button. Then, the orders will be concealed and you will then need to press the buttons in order.
For the best results, pause the screen and study the orders.
This is part of the Another Life section of Ishin. The Another Life mode will open up during the third chapter (it will unlock once you interact with Haruka and the Shinto priest in Fushimi). While there are numerous things you can do in the Another Life mode, one of the main ones is Cooking. Cooking is composed of a vegetable-chopping minigame, a fire-stoking minigame, a stock-pouring minigame, and a fish-grilling minigame.
All of these minigames are very simple and tend to revolve around pressing buttons at the appropriate time, rapidly pressing buttons, or timing the holding of a button. For a detailed breakdown of the cooking minigame in Like A Dragon: Ishin, follow this link.
Farming is another minigame that opens up through the Another Life mode in the game. This mode is all about selecting the correct vegetables, growing the size of your garden, and selling them on the open market. It is a management game, through and through. It is, however, an extremely effective way to gain money. It is also pretty chill. For a detailed breakdown of the farming minigame in Like A Dragon: Ishin, follow this link.
If you head to the northeast section of Rakunai, you can rescue the owner of Nichibuza, which is a dance studio. She will offer to give you lessons in traditional Japanese dancing. This is another Rhythm minigame. However, it forces you to split your attention between the right and left sides of the screen. The left side has prompts associated with the d-pad, and the right side has prompts associated with the face buttons of the controller.
This minigame can be pretty tough, as you need to transition between sides smoothly, and there is little in the way of leeway. Ideally, when you see that a sequence is finishing on one side, you will look to the other side before it finishes (using your sense of timing to hit the final button or two). This will become necessary if you start attempting to tackle songs on a higher difficulty.
You can find an eccentric monocle-wearing man on the dock in the east end of Mukurogai. Talk to him and he will give you the opportunity to chop oncoming cannonballs. Depending on how he orients the cannon, the cannonball’s speed, and curve, will change dramatically. If you are a little early, or a little late, you will deflect the cannonball instead of cutting it in two. This is worth fewer points. The golden cannonballs are worth the most points, so make sure you nail those.
You only need to get to the silver threshold to receive the reward. You aren’t actually rewarded for hitting all the cannonballs perfectly. You will need to hit the gold threshold to unlock the next difficulty, though. In the advanced difficulty mode, you will have to deal with some extreme variance in speed.
When you see that the cannon is level with the ground, that means you are going to get a blindingly fast cannonball coming your way. On the other hand, when the nose of the cannon is pointed up into the air, you are going to receive an extremely slow lob. Once you unlock the bonus difficulty, you will deal with zigzagging cannonballs, cannonballs that hover for a few seconds before taking off, and cannonballs that divebomb.
Cannonball shooting is located in the same place as Cannonball slicing. Choose to use your sword instead of a gun, and you will play this game. This one feels a little more like a rhyme game, as the cannonballs are fired in volleys. So, pressing the fire button rhythmically will serve you well here. Much like the other cannonball game, you get more points for firing at them when they are centered. Also, golden cannonballs are, once again, worth the most.
The bonus difficulty setting isn’t that much of a leap in difficulty from hard. The cannonballs will simply fly much, much higher.
Mahjong is another standard of the Yakuza series. You will find it in the southwest corner of Mukurogai. In a lot of ways, Mahjong is a lot like poker; it is all about assembling a hand. You are looking to form a pair and four “melds”. A pair is any two identical tiles, and a meld is a specific combination of tiles. As an example, three of a kind is a meld, four of a kind is a meld, and three sequential tiles is a meld.
Once you have the required four melds and a pair, you win. You will acquire new tiles by drawing them. You can also take your opponent’s discarded tiles, though you are rewarded for not doing this and keeping your hand completely concealed. There is a lot more to it than that, of course, but that is the primary thrust.
The chicken race track is located on Umekojicho street in Rakugai, just a little southeast of the tea shop. The whole point is to use the data you are provided about a chicken’s health, their past racing results, and their familiarity with the length of race they are running, to make savvy bets. You are provided with a number of ways to bet, and you can make a ton of money if you use these different methods intelligently to hedge your bets. For a detailed breakdown of the chicken race minigame in Like A Dragon: Ishin, follow this link.
Shogi is a variation of chess. The goal is to take your opponent’s king. However, while there are a lot of similarities between the pieces, many of them have unique movement patterns. One of the big differences is that if you get to your opponent’s back row, your piece will level up and get a new, better, movement pattern. Consult the rules section of this game for a better understanding of the movement each piece has.
You will find the Gambler’s Den in Rakugai. It is on Sannocho Street, which is just above the bridge to Mukurogai.
Texas Hold’em is the most popular form of poker. This is a card game where you will need to acquire the very best hand possible within four turns. You will have two cards that you hold privately, the rest of your hand will be made by using the communal cards (called the flop). Pairs are cards with the same number, this is one of these weakest hands.
Two pairs are better. Three-of-a-kind is better still. A straight is when you have five cards that are in sequence, a straight is better than three-of-a-kind. Four-of-a-kind is better than a straight. And, finally, a flush is better than four of a kind. A flush is just a straight where all the cards are the same suite.
Pineapple Hold’em is the same as Texas Hold’em, but you are dealt an extra card at the beginning of the round. You will then choose to discard one of your three. After that, Pineapple Hold’em plays the exact same as Texas Hold’em. Similarly, Omaha Hold’em plays identically to Texas Hold’em, but instead of being dealt two cards, you are dealt four.
The catch is that you have to use exactly two cards from your hand (in the other variations there is no obligation to use any of your cards from your hand). This also means that you cannot use more than two cards from your hand. Generally, check when you don’t have anything concrete, then bet and raise when you have something good. If you have three of a kind or better, you should raise aggressively.
Fold on bad hands. Sure you could try to bluff, but the computer doesn’t seem to fold easily. Play honestly and you will do better.
In this game, you roll three dice. You are looking to get a pair. Whatever the odd number out is what your score is. So, as an example, if you roll two threes and a five, then your score is five. A triple beats any single dice. Rolling one, two, and three is an instant loss. Rolling four, five, and six is an instant win. When you are the dealer, three ones are also an instant loss, while three sixes are an instant victory. This game is pure luck. Make sure to save before you play it.
You need to form pictures using the cards which will create hands that score points. If you form a hand successfully, you will have the chance to call koi or to not call koi. If you call koi, you are attempting to push your luck and score more. However, you are keeping the game alive, which means that if your opponent forms a hand and doesn’t call koi, they will win that round. After three rounds, you need to have more points than your opponent.
So, even if you can win off of junk if it is your final round, it makes sense to do so. If your opponent is close to winning a hand, and you have a chance to finish the round, don’t call koi. Koi is always a risk. However, the more points you have, the more money you will make. So it is all a balancing act.
Oicho-Kabu feels somewhat similar to blackjack. You need to pick one of four lanes (each player takes turns choosing lanes). You want to get as close to 9 as possible. If your hand size is two digits, the second digit is your score. You aren’t playing against the other players, you are playing against the dealer. After you are dealt your second card you have the chance to hold, or you can choose to be dealt one more card.
You will see the dealer’s first card while you are assembling your hand. Remember, the dealer can’t hold with their first card, they have to deal themselves a second. If the dealer’s first card is high, that likely means they are going to circle past 9. Play less aggressively in that case, if their first card is low, then they will have more chances to get a high-scoring hand. So play more aggressively.
The Cho-Han dealer will roll two dice. You are going to call even or odd. That’s it. No different from flipping a coin. The only element of choice is that your payout is better if you go against the crowd. So… you may as well do that? The game will show you the most recent results, but that won’t actually change the way the dice roll (that is called the gamblers’ fallacy). Once you win enough bets, you will get access to other bets. Such as the option to guess a number that will appear on the dice. Once again, there is really no skill here. Just guess.
In Gion, you can visit Anna at the brothel, which is in the northern section of the map. It’ll cost you a whole ryo to participate, but you do get three minigames for that money. Once you successfully complete all three of these minigames, you will unlock the ability to play them individually. You will also be able to select harder difficulties. Unfortunately, it will still cost you a ryo per play.
The drinking game is pretty simple. You will be trying to balance the bowl of alcohol between the extreme top and bottom of the meter. One button will lower the bowl, the other will raise it. Go too high, or too low, and you will spill and lose the game. The trick is to gradually slow your cup as it ascends. In the harder difficulties, you will need to drink faster so that Anna can’t recover.
You do this by keeping the sake bowl as far to the left as possible without spilling. Obviously, this is easier said than done. In the harder difficulties, If you take too long, Anna will fully recover; so, go for broke and get used to riding the razor’s edge.
Rock, Paper, Scissors
This is just a simple game of rock, paper, scissors. In case you are unfamiliar, scissors beat paper, rock beats scissors, and paper beats rock. You need to beat Anna five times in order to complete this game. By using your “third eye” you will be able to slow down time and see what sign she is throwing out and react accordingly.
You can use the third eye three time times, This does mean, of course, that you are going to need to win two rounds legitimately. Generally, Anna likes to switch quite a bit, so, if you stick with the same option every time, you should be able to get your two legitimate wins.
This is the third minigame in the Anna series of games. It is, in fact, a bullet hell shooter. Just roll with it. You have two attack buttons: one is your standard projectile, and the other is a screen-clearing bomb. If you hold your fire button down you will charge a more powerful blast. You will need to shoot the heart while blasting through, or avoiding, Anna’s troubling thoughts.
This minigame has three stages. With each level, the concerns will start coming faster. During the later stages, the charged shot will be the key to clearing a path. Next: Best Minigames In Like A Dragon: Ishin